Monday, February 1, 2010

My Collaboration with FireDogLake

Over five years of independent blogging had taken its toll. I was ready to hang up Blogger, but continued cruising my favorite sites. EconomicPolicyJournal, an economic blog with a conservative bent, had the following request:

Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake would like to get in touch with you. She emails me:

I'm interested in running some names by him regarding health care interests in a timeline we're doing, as he seems to be very familiar with the cast & crew and might be able to tell us quite a bit.

What better for an independent blogger than to be recognized by people on the left and the right? This could be a real opportunity, I thought.

We connected. Jane created a series of spreadsheets with White House visitor lists by staffer. "Some names" ended up being hundreds. I researched 410 visitors, Jane did 24. Here's the breakdown:

PEU Report FireDogLake

DeParle 90
E.Emanuel 126
Messina 69
Orzag 72
Rouse 53

Jane worked Wednesday night on a post. She e-mailed me.

Can I say I've had the help of PEU Report?
Of course, I was honored, until I read her Thursday morning piece. PEU Report wasn't mentioned. It focused on Rahm Emanuel's 24 visitors. I thought, "OK, I didn't research those. No big deal."

The research gave me a number of posts. I did one fairly quickly. It was on a conflicted health care economist, a theme I've mined in the past:

Conflicted Health Economists Push Deform

I'd waited a few days for Jane to run other stories. After the non-mention, I ran:

White House Entertains PEU's

Blue Team's Health Care Conflagration

Obama Pre-State of the Union

Over the weekend the White House released more names, 75,000 in total. Prior and new research produced:

White House March of the For-Profiteers

PEU Daschle's White House Health Reform Thread

Our collaboration could produce two more, one on Jonathan Orzag's Compass Lexecon and it's $407,019 federal contract. The other could be on health care innovator Alan Solomont's private equity connections to Carlyle Group affiliate, Boston Private (a $153 million TARP recipient). Note: the Senate bill has $1 billion in capital for innovative health care companies. How many ways can Alan Solomont connected companies benefit from Uncle Sam's largess?

Irregardless, I benefited from the collaboration. Given my last three e-mails to Jane received no response, I'll assume our time working together has ended.

I blogged an extra week, thanks to FireDogLake. Thanks to all PEU Report readers. It was fun while it lasted. Signed,

Lantern Sodden
(penname for Alan "not Solomont" Prest)